Prague Infant Jesus - Meaning and History

Infant Jesus of Prague

Prague's Infant Jesus is a wax figure of a child located in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague Lesser Town. It is belived to be miraculous and thousands of Catholic piligrims from all over the world visit the church to pray to the figure and ask for favors.

 

Meaning and History of Infant Jesus of Prague

The statue was most likely made in 16th century Spain, but its true origin remains a mystery. One source states that it was created as a meditation of a monk, while another argues that the figure used to belong to St Theresa of Jesus who gifted it to a noble lady destined to marry into Czech nobility. Indeed, Infant Jesus was brought to Prague in 1556 by the Spanish Duchess Marie Manriquez de Lara, who married Vrastislav of Pernstejn. Her daughter, Polyxena of Lobkovic, recieved at as a dowry and was supposed to pass it to her daughter as well. Polyxena ended up having an only son and gifted the statue to the Carmelite order at the church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague Lesser Town.

The Carmelite novitates took care of the statue until the Thirty Years War when the church was attacked in 1631. The monks returned 6 years later and discovered the Infant Jesus in the delapidated church. The statue was missing hands and one of the monks, who used to serve as a Carmelite novitate, renovated it. In the 18th century, Ifant Jesus of Prague was venerated across the Austrian Empire, and the Empress Maria Theresia donated a new embelished robe to the figurine. Despite that, her son and throne successor Joseph II soon passed a reform on the dissolution of the monasteries, and the cult of Prague's Infant Jesus declined. In 1879, baby Jesus "made a pilligrimage" through convents begging for a restoration budget, which was in the end collected.

Infant Jesus became a widely respected relic after a 1935's Catholic Convention, when piligrims from Spain, Portugal, China, Philipines, and South America visited Prague. Pope Benedict XVI came to the Church of Our Lady Victorious in 2009 and prayed at the statute as well. 

 

What church is the Infant of Prague in?

  • Infant Jesus of Prague is located in the Church of Our Lady Victorious, tram stop Hellichova.
  • The church is free to visit and opened daily from 8:30 till 18:00 on warking days and 19:00 on Sunday.
  • The church museum with clothing of Prague's Infant is opened from 9:30 till 17:00 on working days and from 13:00 till 18:00 on Sunday.

Infant Jesus of Prague Shop

 

You can visit the Church of Our Lady Victorious and The Infant Jesus of Prague e-shop.

 

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Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.